The Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 is amongst the first wines to use Cape Town as its Wine Appellation. Named for Bernard Podlashuk, who with his wife Fredagh was responsible for raising Bellingham, like a Phoenix from the ashes, during the second half of the 20th century. A maverick who did things his own way, he was a pioneer in so many ways, having had no training in wine making. Today Bellingham produces exceptionally fine wines and The Bernard Range is a tribute to this amazing couple.
The grapes for the Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 come from three old Chenin Blanc vineyards which are aged from 35 to 47 years, venerable age in South African Vineyard terms. The vines are planted as Bush Vines, in decomposed granite soils, resulting in complex, harmonious, wines with vibrant acidity and balance. Picked by hand, the grapes are whole bunch pressed, by winemaker Ryan Puttick and his team, to extract the flavours gently. Lots are separately vinified for later blending. The wines are matured in half new and half second fill French oak for 12 months before being prepared for bottling
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and elegant. I the glass, the wine is a pale gold and gem bright. The aromas are classic Chenin. They run into the palate and well into the long, vibrant, and gently waning aftertaste. All manner of red and yellow apples, granadilla, spanspek, creamy rolled oats porridge and desiccated pineapple. The oak and its concomitant brown spice and vanilla is present as a support to the generosity of the fruit. Good for now drinking, though it has all the properties to allow for a couple of years of cool cellaring to reward you later.
The Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 is a serious sipping and food wine and not one for quaffing. Chill it well but not too much as it shows better when it is cold, but not icy. There is a rash of bowls available now, Poké Bowls, Ramen Bowls, Buddha Bowls, many restaurants on my recent visit to London having some sort of hot or cold bowl available. Ina Paarman’s Tofu Grain Bowl with Vegetables is the perfect answer as a midweek supper dish. Her food products make it so easy. Click HERE for her recipe and to browse her website.
Listen to my 60 second Podcast, click the red arrow on the left
Read more about Bellingham Wines – CLICK HERE